December 14/15: “Jerusalem”, Blake/Perry, Royal Albert Hall

It snowed all day here yesterday, and there’s been just as much snow, unusually, in Jerusalem.


Which handily if somewhat clumsily gives me an opportunity to post about the Anglican hymn “Jerusalem,” which I only vaguely knew until I sang in an Anglican church choir in university. The poem by William Blake is beautiful, though it is still baffling to me how this became a standard hymn for church services: Satanic Mills, really? And where is God in this hymn?

Dylan and I won tickets to a Last Night at the Proms concert at the Anglican cathedral downtown a couple of years ago. It was like a ticket to secret parallel Anglophile world. (You can’t see them, but they’re all around you.) The program for the concert had an ad for a dating service to meet other Anglophile people, which would explain how they all manage to find each other. There were four encores — four! — of “Land of Hope and Glory,” and we were some of the only people who hadn’t brought a Union Jack to wave. We did enjoy singing “Jerusalem” with a big crowd, though, and it’s got to be even more fun to do this: